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Model-based Project Management for Drawing-free Delivery of Infrastructure Projects

New E6 highway by Sveberg outside of Trondheim will look after construction is completed.

How the new E6 highway by Sveberg outside of Trondheim will look after construction is completed. (Photo: Nye Veier/ Multiconsult)

Nye Veier (New Roads) is responsible for the delivery of a total of 106 km of four-lane roads in Trøndelag county, in Norway. These roads are to be completed over the next few years and are to cover the connections between Ulsberg in the south to Åsen in the north of Trøndelag county. The aim is to provide the citizens in the Trondheim area with safer roads and quicker commuting and to contribute to growth and development in the region.

The work has started, but behind the scenes, processes are still being developed in terms of how models and classifications are to be utilized and maintained through the whole life cycle of the road system - from planning and design to construction, operations, and maintenance. Bjørge Lundhaug, Project Manager, Nye Veier

"We needed a platform where we could receive project data from the design engineer and the contractor in a coherent and effective way, throughout the design- and construction phase," says Børge Lundhaug, Project Manager for Nye Veier. 

Digital Road for the complete lifecycle

To meet the needs communicated by Lundhaug and Nye Veier, a pilot project has been initiated for the road connection between Ranheim and Værnes, one of the four projects in the expansion of the E6 highway in Trøndelag. In this pilot project, Trimble and Triona are providing an AIM-solution to Nye Veier and the contractor Acciona Construcción.

AIM is an abbreviation for Asset Information Model. Jan Erik Hoel, leading the pilot project from Trimble explains: 

 "It is all about the digital information that we need to create and maintain for the project model, which will be used also after the construction of the infrastructure has been completed. Everything from road signs, emergency equipment, road surface, side areas, water- and sewer systems, to signaling systems, electrical cables, and so on."

Jan Erik Hoel, Project Manager, Trimble

Drawing-free delivery of infrastructure projects developed with the BIM and 3D methodologies is nothing new, but this is the first time that a system in which the models will be brought over to the maintenance and operations phase is being created. 

 - Many 3D models created and used today are highly advanced, but specific products are often not used in the models, rather generic objects are being created. The AIM approach entails that the objects in the model are to include specific product information. For example, the light pole used in the model is not just a generic light pole, but rather of a specific type, Hoel explains. 

With this approach, you get an information-rich model that can be used in operations- and maintenance processes. This is often referred to as Enterprise BIM. 

 - You have a digital twin, a central BIM model rich in data. For projects in which changes are made to existing infrastructure, you may extract information directly from the model and conduct the changes, subsequently, the objects are being updated with the new information in the model, says Erling Tronsmoen, Product Manager for the Trimble products included in the AIM solution.

Effective maintenance simplified

When the contractor responsible for operations received a work order concerning a blocked drain, he may extract information from the model before visiting the site, ensuring that he brings all the necessary equipment to fix the issue, as well as plan the securing of the area. It is all about being well prepared in terms of task clarifications to ensure effective maintenance of the infrastructure, says Lundhaug in Nye Veier. 
BIM Level 3

The AIM solution elevates the project to the Enterprise BIM level.   Illustration: Trimble

 
The contractor responsible for operations can view and use the 3D-data and location-specific data in the AIM solution using AR-glasses, in which the view of the existing situation can be combined with digital data so that he may see where the blocked drain is located, said Rune Dragnes, Managing Director in Triona. 

A lot of material and objects are bolted to the wall surface inside a Tunnel. If you discover that the bolts are breaking too early you may have a look in the AIM solution to see who has produced these bolts and their LOT number, subsequently, your search in the AIM solution to find the exact location of other bolts with the same LOT number. With this approach, you avoid situations like the one with the Hanekleiv-tunnel in 2017, where the contractor needed to tear down everything inside the tunnel and re-bolt and secure everything once more because they did not have this documentation. The rehabilitation of the tunnel took about a year. Maybe it would only have taken a few months if they had the knowledge on the location of the bolting shortcomings and issues, says Hoel, Trimble.

Everything is searchable in a new web portal

Existing standard products make up central components of the AIM solution. Trimble Quadri (Quadri for Windows and Quadri for Browser (server)) are used during a project`s design phase to plan, design, and collaborate in the model environment. Triona delivers TNE - Transport Network Engine, which is used as a repository for the web portal, storing and processing AIM and geographical data. 

- The interplay between the Quadri server and TNE enables the handling of data throughout a project's life cycle, from planning, to design and construction, and sometimes even into the operations- and maintenance phase. Furthermore, TNE takes care of the data exchange with other data sources, such as the National Road Database used by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen). This means that you can work seamlessly with AIM data and data from other data sources, explains Dragsnes, Triona.

Trimble's AIM solution Workflow

Nye Veier`s AIM solution based on products delivered by Trimble and Triona.

Triona is responsible for a new web portal for AIM customers. The data in this web portal ensure that Nye Veier always has access to updated BIM data throughout the design- and construction phases. If the contractor makes changes to a structure, these changes will be adapted and classified in the network, which in turn is made available through the web portal.

Through the web portal, the contractor in charge of operations has access to the model and related objects, and object properties used for management, operations, and maintenance (MOM) are available.

Maintenance instructions, as well as product sheets, are also available through the web portal, including images and comprehensive information about maintenance work that needs to be carried out, says Lundhaug, Nye Veier. 

Common language and terminology

A new approach is the use of classification. Nye Veier has selected to use the Swedish classification system CoClass, a hierarchical system for the coding of objects. A tunnel bolt will be assigned a code that includes information about the location and function of this object, as well as what method is used to deliver this function. 

The classification system is applied throughout the project to ensure the use of a system with common language and terminology for digital management of the model and infrastructure. 

This will ensure efficient processes for receiving and connecting data in a secure manner. We can also specify criteria for the properties that need to be defined on an object level, says Lunhaug from Nye Veier, and adds that current processes are underway to make CoClass part of the Norwegian Standard (SN/K 373). 

When designing roads and water and sewer systems in Quadri a network is automatically created in the model. The CoClass-categories are linked with this network. Hence, the objects that are linked to the network receive their CoClass-classification from the network, Hoel from Trimble explains. 

The asset model is ready for use

The AIM solution is created and developed throughout the design- and construction phases, meaning that the AIM solution will be completed and ready for use once the construction of the road is completed. 

Once you have completed the “as-built” stage; having updated the model in alignment with how the actual infrastructure has been constructed, the asset model is ready for use. In this sense the digital model is ready from day one, which is a basic principle of the AIM solution, says Hoel, Trimble. 

The pilot project covers the connection between Ranheim and Værnes, and it is important to us that the solution is made available to all other projects in progress on the E6 highway stretch in Trøndelag. We are still some time away from any operations- and maintenance activities being carried out here, so initially, we will see the value and benefits of the solution in the construction phase, by delivering our work with a complete asset model and ensuring that we can make continual adjustments and improvements, comments Lunhaug, Nye Veier.